As little as four hours ago, Julian Nagelsmann was the manager of Bayern Munich, and Thomas Tuchel was high on the list to become Tottenham Hotspur’s next manager. Then I went offline to do some family things, and some stuff happened. So it’s worth doing a quick recap, because all of European football is basically chaos energy and we probably need an update.
What a difference a few hours makes.
Earlier tonight, news broke via Fabrizio Romano that Bayern Munich was on the verge of sacking Julian Nagelsmann, with an eye to replacing him with Thomas Tuchel. The news was later corroborated by numerous outlets.
Exclusive news confirmed: Thomas Tuchel becomes new FC Bayern head coach, full agreement in place. He has already accepted the job. #FCBayern— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) March 23, 2023
Contract agreed, documents are being prepared tonight. pic.twitter.com/HFnOSwoU1m
Holy crap, right?! There are some mixed feelings here, especially after I spent a few hours last night writing up a detailed scouting profile of Tuchel as a potential replacement for Antonio Conte at Spurs. That’s now fully off the table, and it sounds as though Tuchel was never really a serious candidate and didn’t actually have any conversations with Daniel Levy about the (soon to be) open Spurs position.
Thomas Tuchel is expected to return to management at Bayern Munich, replacing Julian Nagelsmann. I'm told he didn't speak to Tottenham in the wake of the Antonio Conte implosion, despite loose contingency interest. More on @standardsport soon.— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) March 23, 2023
But there’s an entirely different level to this story. Nagelsmann was actually Tottenham’s first choice to replace Mauricio Pochettino back in 2019 and apparently even had a few conversations with Spurs’ brass before eventually taking the Bayern job. Spurs have had a long-standing interest in Nagelsmann, and in a lot of ways he’d be PERFECT for the job. (For those of you wondering, yes I’ve already written a Daniel Levy’s Imaginary (Managerial) Shortlist article for tomorrow and no, it’s not Nagelsmann. Sorry.)
Naturally, you can imagine the squeeeeeeeeees of pleasure coming from virtually every corner of Tottenham fandom at this news. That said, Tottenham are not the only club who are expected to have an opening for a new manager. Carlo Ancelotti is expected to step down as manager of Real Madrid, and Julian Nagelsmann has been a long-term target of theirs as well. In fact, according to one source, Nagelsmann was contacted by Real Madrid back in 2018 before the club hired Julen Lopetegui.
So what’s the state of play? Honestly, it’s too early to say. We don’t know, for example, whether Tottenham is still interested in Julian Nagelsmann. We also don’t know whether Real Madrid is interested in Julian Nagelsmann. Honestly, both Spurs and Madrid technically still have managers, so a lot of this is pure speculation and somewhat of a moot point.
It’s somewhat bonkers that Bayern would fire Nagelsmann and replace him with Tuchel to begin with, and doing so has pretty much inserted a brand new shiny object for clubs with current or future managerial openings to fight over. The reality is that Spurs have completely gone to ground with very little information emerging. We don’t know what the status of Conte’s sacking is, whether Spurs are intending to go with Ryan Mason as interim manager, or if they’re in discussions to hire another target as a permanent replacement as soon as possible. We ALSO don’t know whether Spurs are still interested in Julian Nagelsmann, or whether they would have any realistic chance of hiring him if Real Madrid is also interested in bringing him to Spain.
Everything is chaos. Nothing is real. I’m going to bed now, not knowing what miracles the morrow will bring. Pray for me. Pray for us all.